Center in the News
  • James Madison project: forging a more perfect union between ... - The Bakersfield Californian
    Fortified with a federal grant, local educators want to form a more perfect union between middle and high school students and the U.S. Constitution. But first, they need a few good high school teachers. It’s all part of the James Madison Legacy Project, named for the fourth President of the United States, considered the father of the U.S. Constitution, and the first three words of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Kern County educators have long participated in continuing education to hone their skills in teaching middle and high school government and civics classes. That is, until federal funding lapsed several years ago. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, helped revive it earlier this year, generating bipartisan support in the House for the Center for Civic Education's grant application to the federal Secretary of Education.For information on joining the James Madison Legacy Project, contact Terri Richmond at

  • Ridgefield Park teacher presents program on Project Citizen - Education -
    Ridgefield Park Junior Senior High School Social Studies Teacher Michael Savino recently presented at the New Jersey Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) annual fall conference at Rutgers University. "It is an opportunity for social studies educators from around the state to get together and on one hand get a 'shot in the arm' as far as the state of social education in the state of New Jersey as well as the nation as a whole through a key speaker and a series of break out sessions," he explained. This year, he was asked to present a workshop on Project Citizen, a project-based program for middle and high school students which promotes civic engagement among students which was created by The Center for Civic Education in California. The program helps participants learn how to monitor and influence public policy while developing support for democratic values and principles, tolerance, and feelings of political efficacy, explains the program's website.

  • Civics First of Connecticut Announces Involvement in the James Madison Legacy Project
    The James Madison Legacy Project is a three year nationwide initiative of the Center for Civic Education that will (1) increase the number of highly effective teachers of high-need students through the professional development of teachers, (2) increase the achievement of students in attaining state standards in civics and government, (3) serve the self-identified professional development needs of participating schools with significant concentrations of high-need students throughout the US, and (4) evaluate the relative effectiveness of the Center’s research-validated traditional We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution professional development model enhanced with online resources and a new blended-learning variation of the traditional model that also uses online resources.

  • The Brown County Democrat - Brown County Indiana - Junior high team wins regional We the People title
    Twenty-one Brown County Junior High School students took the regional title in the southern Indiana We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution middle school contest Nov. 17. BCJHS students have won the state title five times and the national title twice, and placed second in nationals last year. North High School in Evansville won the high school division at the regional contest. A total of 11 teams participated, eight of them in the middle school division. St. Philip School, Mount Vernon, placed second, and Helfrich Park STEM Academy (Team B), Evansville, placed third. Placing second and third in the high school division were Floyd Central High School, New Albany, and Randall T. Shepard Leadership and Law Academy. These teams have all qualified to advance to the We the People State Finals in Indianapolis in December. Each student participant played the role of an expert testifying before mock congressional committees that explored the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights.

  • Students Showcase Government Knowledge - Story
    Middle school and high school students in the Tri-State spent the day demonstrating their knowledge of the US government. More than 275 students competed in a mock trial known as We the people, the Citizen and the Constitution. Students went before a panel of judges to display their understanding of constitution principles. They then had the opportunity to evaluate and defend their positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues. "I'm a very passionate person and I have a lot of different opinions and I'm always excited to express those opinions, and so, to get to do it and be judged on that and see how they stack up against my peers and these adults that have had these experiences, it's truly invigorating," said North High School senior Tyler Maassen. Community leaders from University of Southern Indiana volunteered as judges. Maassen says the goal of the mock trial is to inform younger people and get them involved in government issues.

  • ‘We the People’ teaches students importance of history
    Voting is one of the "most amazing rights" a person has, said eighth-grader Lydia Allerellie. On Tuesday, Allerellie, 13, was part of the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution competition, an in-depth study of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. More than 275 middle and high school students competed in mock Congressional hearings at the Old National Events Plaza. "This is great practice for us to say our beliefs and have our own opinions with facts to back it up," Allerellie said. "And if we ever run for mayor or something we would be able to present ourselves well." Mark Kirkman has taught the course at St. Philip for six years. He said civic education often gets overlooked, and some people don't take the time to learn. "It's good for them, at this age, to start forming political opinions," he said, "so when they get to voting age, they understand what they're doing." The nationwide curriculum started in 1987.

    Funding will be made available to provide professional development for teachers through the Wyoming We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution initiative. The program is focused on the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rights and responsibilities of citizens to middle and high school teachers of civics and government. Wyoming We the People participates in the 46-state James Madison Legacy Project partnership. The state is part of a multistate partnership with Idaho, Montana and South Dakota working on state and regional training(s). The funding received will be used to increase the number of highly effective teachers of high-need and other students through professional development and the implementation of an exemplary curricular program for students. The teacher institutes and workshops will focus on research-validated, nationally acclaimed curriculum that teaches students about the history and principles of our Constitution

  • The State Bar of Nevada Has New Resources to Train Teachers in Civics
    The State Bar of Nevada has received funds to help expand opportunities for teacher professional development across Nevada for middle and high school teachers in civics and government. The initiative, the James Madison Legacy Project, is part of a nationwide professional development program directed by the Center for Civic Education, a nonprofit educational organization that was recently awarded a federal grant under the U.S. Department of Education’s Supporting Effective Educator Development grant program. The funding, $137,000 in the first year and $362,000 total over three years, will be used to increase the number of highly effective teachers in We the People: The Citizen and Constitution program, focusing on schools with higher student poverty rates, unfilled teacher positions, or teachers without subject expertise through professional development. The teacher institutes and workshops will focus on training for the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program.

  • Indiana Students to Compete in Mock Congressional Hearings
    On Tuesday, more than 275 high school and middle school students are demonstrating their knowledge of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights in a competition. At the Old National Events Plaza, students are competing in mock congressional hearings as part of the nationwide civic education curriculum, “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution.” The competition begins at 9:30 a.m. and awards will be presented around 1 p.m. Floyd Central High School, North High School, and the Shepard Academy of Law & Social Justice are the participating high schools. Participating middle schools include Brown County Jr. High, Helfrich Park STEM Academy, North Jr. High, St. Bartholomew Catholic, St. Phillip School, and Thompkins Middle School.

  • Rehearsal Set for ‘We the People’ |
    The “We the People” teams from Arvada-Clearmont High School and Sheridan High School will have a dress rehearsal competition prior to the district qualifier competition next month. The two teams will test their wits of the United States Constitution Thursday from 5 to 8 in the Inner Circle of the Sheridan Fulmer Library. In this audio story, Arvada-Clearmont Social Studies Teacher Jennifer Betz said it will be a good experience for both teams to get some work in before the district competition. Betz said the “We the People” district competition will take place December 7 in Casper. From there, the top six teams will move on to compete in the state competition in early February.